Tour de France director: Britain has helped put cycling on world stage
Effect set to continue with glory of Tour de Yorkshire
Britain has been ideally placed to put cycling on a world stage while still referencing the sport's European roots, the Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has said.
He cited Bradley Wiggins as an enormous influence in raising cycling's profile, as well as the 2014 Yorkshire Grand Depart.
"Globalisation is necessary but we need to respect the roots of cycling," Prudhomme told Reuters in an interview after the fifth stage of the Paris-Nice race.
"If cycling has been resistant to scandals it's because it has deep roots in some countries."
"When you see Bradley Wiggins win, he is the first Briton to win the Tour, he has an Australian father, and the rider who is second overall (Chris Froome) was born in Kenya and lives in South Africa - it epitomises Commonwealth," he said.
"But yet you're still right next to Paris, to Belgium."
And the effect seems likely to continue over the next two years, said Prudhomme, climaxing with the Tour de Yorkshire.
"When I went to Yorkshire (this year) to announce that the Tour 2014 would start from Yorkshire, I told them: 'You're Belgians who speak English'," he said.
"I'd also like to thank the people who decided to send Wiggins on to the stage with the yellow jersey on his back at the Olympic opening ceremony. We were so proud that day.
"When you have a Briton winning the Tour you're reaching out to everyone who speaks English in the world and that's a few potential fans."